There's so much here, (I love that we are calling out "witchhunt" and "bullying" when it comes to PP) but particularly Chris Hayes's statement that "This is the Culture War."
None of us can be neutral in the culture war over Planned Parenthood.
What we are confronting here is that defending Planned Parenthood on the "nice pink" issue of breast cancer screening DOES MEAN defending Planned Parenthood on the not-so-pink issues of contraception and yes, abortion. There is a direct link between the Catholic Bishop freak out on health insurance to cover contraception and the Komen brouhaha. It's women. And it's women in a very "Wake Up White Women!" way.
We priveleged white women with educations and laptops and smart phones and wide access to the twitter streams of our congressmen, can't be neutral or even silent.
We can't say "I would never have an abortion but don't want to restrict access for anyone else" and stand aside while state legislatures around the country restrict access for everyone else.
We can't wear a pink ribbon and attend Estee-Lauder sponsored Pink Events, and say we're doing our part for women's health, while being silent about the bullying of Planned Parenthood by the Dallas denizens of Komen. The Komen brand must be taken out, primarily because they are a corporate tool for advertising as "pro-women" while blindfolding consumers to the environmental and behavioral causes of cancer. And while Komen and Virginia Slims alike would never have enough audacity to put pink ribbons on cigarettes...
...I doubt Komen's lawyers looked carefully into the not-at-all-subtle pink ribbons throughout the model's sweater and thought about spending their half-million in attorney's fees on suing big tobacco. There might be some Phillip Morris heiress who'd love some fashion show tix.
|not a photoshop|
The bishops have also made a bargain with their female parishioners -- come to church, pay your tithe (ha), and take communion, and we won't ask about your IUD. Get married in the Church and we won't ask about your premarital sex. Baptize your kids and we won't ask why you only have two and they seem "spaced" contrary to biology.
And then they let Newt Gingrich become a member.
But as I said in 2009:
But it's not just that Gingrich doesn't realize that people can look up what he said five years or five minutes ago on the internet tubes. Newt has become a Catholic, I believe, because old-style Catholicism buys into what he (and Republicanism) have believed all along: that you may not be perfect, but you are always forgiven, provided you profess loyalty and devotion to the ideology involved. So as long as you SAY you believe in the Holy Catholic See/Grand Old Party ideology, no matter how much you lie or how big a hypocrite you are, the indulgences will come at you fast and easy.
From Wikipedia, which in this case is a pretty accurate rendition:
An indulgence, in Roman Catholic theology, is the full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven. The indulgence is granted by the church after the sinner has confessed and received absolution. The belief is that indulgences draw on the storehouse of merit acquired by Jesus' sacrifice and the virtues and penances of the saints. They are granted for specific good works and prayers.
The Republican Party and the 24 hour news cycle (that apparently needs them to fill up 'fair and balanced' programming minutes) doles out indulgences all the time. That's why compulsive gambler Bill Bennett and Christian Right/Gambling benefactor Ralph Reed can appear on CNN as Republican analysts and Wolf Blitzer doesn't bat a eye. It's why Newt Gingrich himself is allowed into the green room at This Week any Sunday morning he likes, whether Paul Krugman sits next to him or not.So apparently (and this is none of my business), you can be a birth-control using woman and also a Catholic.
It's why despite his horrible record and affairs and total hypocrisy he may be the standard bearer of his party, the party of family values, in 2012.
And notice, John Edwards won't.
You can't be a woman who wants to continue to use birth control and vote Republican. They are after your birth control, and the days of being neutral in the culture war are over. Katha Pollit totally gets it:
First they came for abortion, but I didn’t care because abortion was for sluts. Then they came for sex ed, but I didn’t care because the kids can learn all they need to know at home. Then they came for birth control, but… Wait a minute! Birth control? They’re coming for birth control? I need that! For nearly a decade prochoicers have been warning that abortion foes were gearing up to go after contraception, but the possibility of losing birth control was too far-out for most people to take seriously. And you know prochoicers—they’re always crying wolf. Well, wake up, sleepyheads, it’s happening.Driftglass often says "never bet against human nature." Human nature works first and foremost toward economic ends. This is why women in ancient Rome limited family size with contraception, and women who can afford it have done so before and ever since, regardless of church edict.
But contrarily, this neutrality thing over women's health is exactly about human nature -- it is human nature to want to protect our daughters from the dangers and heartbreak of a bad (in any way) sexual experience. We don't want to think about our daughters having sex, at all. We WANT to think of them as pure as the driven snow, because they are our little girls. I think it's Dave Barry who tells the story of how awful it is to announce to your in-laws that your wife is pregnant, because your father-in-law has to actually acknowledge that his daughter has had sex...with YOU.
So in this argument let's assume that your 23-year-old daughter is a virgin on her wedding night. Let's just assume that. The question becomes, do you want Rick Santorum and the Council of Catholic Bishops determining for your sainted daughter and her chaste husband, the number and spacing of your totally legitimate, only conceived in wedlock, grandchildren? Regardless of whether they have worked long enough to save for a house or even have moved out of your basement? IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU?
Because you have to decide that, now.
There is no neutrality in this culture war any more.
And in exchange for your enlistment, WE WILL NOT MENTION that a very large part of Planned Parenthood's constituency is sexually active young women who don't want their parents to know they use birth control.
PS. We're going along with the wedding-night virgin myth, even though it wasn't even true for Grandma. Enjoy this no-premarital sex song from the thirties. Because it's a lovely song, but even in 1938, Bob Hope knew it was a joke.